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. >> reporter: another vocal critic, senator lindsey graham, is still expressing doubts about her but avoided answering whether he would still stand in the way of a rice nomination. >> when she comes over, if she does, there will be a lot of questions asked after her about this event and others. >> reporter: whether the tone is a shift in speaking or more nuanced language, the white house is all ears. >> certainly saw those comments and appreciate them as the president has said and i and others have said, ambassador rice has done an excellent job at the united nations and is highly qualified for any number of positions in the foreign policy arena. >> reporter: does the preside president -- >> i have no announcements. >> reporter: she's widely believed to be at the top of the list to replace secretary of state hillary clinton who's said she will not stay for a second term. ambassador rice came under fire for suggesting the benghazi attack that killed four americans was a spontaneous event. >> what we think transpired in benghazi is opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this
met with because they had been among her harshest critics, senators graham and mccain. today's meeting was different because she met with a republican who was among the remaining centerist republicans in the senate -- one of the most likely to throw susan rice a lifeline. it didn't happen. >> i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign. >> reporter: after meeting with rice for more than an hour, collins emerged questioning her judgment in giving the public what turned out to be incorrect information in the days after the deadly attack in benghazi. and the main republican was lukewarm about the prospect of rice as secretary of state. if president obama were to nominate susan rice to be the next secretary of state, could you support that nomination? >> i would need to have additional information before i could support her nomination. >> reporter: collins has gone out of her way to support rice in the past. even introducing rice family ties to maine at a c
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